An Autumnal Halloween

Butterfly Genus Theodorableus Butterfly Genus Francis Captured butterflies


The Bat­sto Vil­lage Hal­loween par­ty wasn’t quite so much fun this year: their web­site didn’t men­tion that most activ­i­ties end­ed part-way through the after­noon so that the orga­niz­ers could sit in front of the old hous­es giv­ing out can­dy. We arrived on the late side so no face paint­ing or pony rides for the boys but­ter­flies. We still had fun in the first real­ly autumn day of the sea­son and Bat­sto was look­ing more bucol­ic than ever. More pic­tures (includ­ing some of the cool gear­ing in the old Bat­sto grist­mill) over on yesterday’s Flickr page.

Right: rare video footage of a Genus Fran­cis­cus But­ter­fly in migra­tion.

Butterfly Love

Butterfly Love
The town parade was post­poned by rain again last night but as the but­ter­fly boys were all dressed up we ducked into our favorite piz­za shop for some moz­zarel­la sticks and a slice of bruchetta-topped toma­to pie. We got out with­out inflict­ing any major struc­tur­al dam­age or phys­i­cal injury, though Theo was only a twist or two away from destroy­ing one of their neon signs. Rumor has it that the parade will hap­pen next Tues­day though if the weath­er coop­er­ates we should have pic­tures of the Bat­sto Vil­lage hal­loween before that (last year’s pics).

(Still work­ing on get­ting com­ments and Twit­ter to show up prop­er­ly.)

Railroad & farm weekend in Lancaster

Our only full-group shot, outside Strasburg RR
This week­end we took off for a fam­i­ly trip to Lan­cast­er Coun­ty, Penn­syl­va­nia – Julie and me, the kids and my moth­er Liz. I won’t have time to do a long blog post, but high­lights were the Ver­dant View farm B&B (link) where we stayed; the Stras­burg Rail­road (link) whose line runs through the farm’s back­yard, the Choo Barn mod­el rail­way (link); and the amaz­ing Cher­ry Crest Farm (link) with its corn maze and its sim­ple games for kids of all ages (who knew you could have so much fun with a hill and a piece of burlap?!).

See the See the pho­to set on Flickr for more pic­tures and sto­ries. Every shot is mapped, with links.

Large pho­to: Fam­i­ly at Stras­burg RR: Mar­tin, Liz, Theo, Julie, Fran­cis. Below: Julie and the kids walk­ing through fields at farm, Fran­cis play­ing kung-fu with the farm dog, Theo run­ning in ter­ror from said dog, Engine 90 ready to pull out.
Verdant View's verdant views
Verdant View Farm dogs
Verdant View Farm dogs
Locomotion

The ascent of Apple Pie Hill

Yesterday the kids and I took a road trip to Apple Pie Hill, a summit of loose gravel that towers over the South Jersey pinelands from a dizzying height of 209 feet above sea level. A fire watch tower on the summit adds another few dozen feet, enough to get a visitor over the treetops. On a clear day it's said you can see the skylines of Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Fortunately for me it was an quintessentially beautifully fall day--clear and crisp. It was easy to spot the cities, both thirty-two miles away (mostly to the south and mostly to the west respectively) and here's blowups of the two resultant photos:
Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
Sand road to Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill Trip to Pine Barren's famous Apple Pie Hill
More pictures, from left: Sand road to the hill, the fire tower, the view down through the steps of the tower (the kids were left in the car), two year old Francis eager but thwarted attempt to repeat Papa's climb up tower. Click individual photos for enlarged and geotagged versions. More photos of this and out stopover at Atsion later in the day on yesterday's Flickr page.

For those interested in repeating our journey, here's a map showing our route up and back. I was mostly winging it, depending on these directions from NJPineslandsandDownJersey.com starting from nearby Chatsworth NJ, self-styled "Capital of the Pine Barrens."



Other map views: View Larger Map | Satellite with Route Map

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)


Photos clockwise: Theo blows out the birthday ice cream cake's “4” candle; kids huddle around when box opens to reveal Thomas the Tank Engine related toy; independent Francis surveys the scene; cousin M. plays pattycake with Poppop while her mom looks on.

Scenes from a birthdays party: Theo (4) & Francis (2)
Scenes from birthdays party

Pictures from Birthdays Party

Yummy eats en route to Ohio

Yummy eats en route to Ohio
More back blog­ging from our Ohio trip, this pho­to from a veg­an eatery a few miles off a rur­al Penn­syl­va­nia turn­pike exit. Prices were steep and the home­made non-dairy ice cream serv­ings small but we ate every­thing from our plates.

Pho­to: Veg­an food & messy boy at Maggie’s Mer­can­tile off exit 91 of the Pen­na Turn­pike, an hour or so east of Pitts­burgh. Enlarged pho­to.